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Welcome to #dfest17


Felix Preval 

Darwin Festival Acting Artistic Director

We’re stringing up the lights so you can let down your hair. These cool, dry August nights are few – so, Darwin, come out and enjoy them while you can. What better way to begin a celebration than with dancing? We’re kicking down the theatre door and taking dance to the streets and parks, and everyone’s invited to Dance Darwin Dance!

We’re excited to be presenting a program packed with work by some of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists. Joining them are First Nations artists from New Zealand, Canada, the US and Taiwan. We hope that you embrace the chance to see their work and reflect on what the traditional custodians of many nations might teach us about how we live in ours.

This year’s Festival program reflects the unique spirit of the Territory – its humour and its resilience, its ancient cultures as well as its contemporary constituents. Above all, Darwin Festival is a chance to celebrate the things that are great about life in the Top End, and we hope you’ll join us in the revelry – it’s a party, after all!



NT Chief Minister

This great tropical city has risen from the rubble of war and cyclone to emerge as Australia’s economic and cultural capital of the north. We have grown from wild, frontier-town origins into a sophisticated and dynamic multicultural city deeply engaged in our region.

Our story is unique in all the world and for nearly 40 years Darwin Festival has celebrated this story – the many people and cultures that make this place so special. That’s why this Northern Territory Government is, and will always be, a proud supporter.

I am excited by this year’s program and I look forward to watching the Festival continue to grow – like Darwin – from strength to strength.



Lord Mayor of Darwin

Darwin Festival is one of my favourite events, with its fantastic selection of international, national and local performers. Once again, City of Darwin is a proud supporter of this iconic event.

Darwin Festival celebrates the great outdoor environment of our city and the perfect dry season tropical weather. What I really love is that there is something for everyone. From comedy, to music, to academic discussions – there’s so much thought-provoking content.

There really is no better time to be in our city.



Darwin Festival Chair

It’s my great privilege to chair this year’s much-anticipated Darwin Festival, with a program that puts Darwin’s centre at its heart, creating venues and pedestrian thoroughfares like never before. The Santos Opening Night Concert has a new venue at Little Mindil Beach and the City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic moves to The Esplanade. We’re also taking over Civic Park, bringing a Spiegeltent to Parliament Lawn and spilling out to other venues across the city.

We value the generous commitment of those who make the Festival possible: the NT Government, City of Darwin and our long-term and new corporate sponsors and donors. I sincerely thank them and the Festival staff who work tirelessly to bring such exciting vibrancy to the program.



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